My whirlwind weekend continued on Saturday with LUPEC Boston’s Tiki Bash! LUPEC – Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails – is a ladies cocktail society largely made up of some of the best bartenders in Boston. The Tiki Bash was a benefit to support On the Rise, a community for women in crisis. Since I have a strong interest in cocktails, feminism, and social justice, this seemed like the perfect event!
I purchased tickets at my friendly neighborhood bar and convinced a friend to accompany me in these shenanigans. The tickets got us, in addition to 4 drink tickets, some free cocktail appetizers from local restaurants, a burlesque show, cocktail demonstrations, hula lessons, dancing, and a performance by Uke Springsteen, to my knowledge the only man covering the oeuvre of Bruce Springsteen on the ukulele. What wonders were awaiting us!
When we arrived, nearly everyone was in either period costume or their best tiki garb. For those who don’t know, tiki-culture has had several revivals. It was started way back in the 1930s by Don the Beachcomber, an American who’d traveled the world and brought back various influences from his time in the tropics, which he incorporated into his California restaurant upon his return. The movement really gained ground in the 1950’s, however, when American service-men returned from tours of the South Pacific. Tiki-culture, while stylistically influenced by Polynesian mythology and aesthetics, is really an American invention. It’s characterized by the use of tropical imagery, lots of fruit, and in the case of the cocktails, an incredible amount of rum.
The spirit of American tiki was certainly alive in that room! Dress styles ranged from the 40’s to the 70’s, and the food included amazing Dan-Dan noodles from Myers + Chang, pineapple cake from the Franklin Cafe, and oysters from Island Creek Oysters.
This party marked the first time I’d ever eaten raw oysters, and I’m sad to say that I neglected to take a picture. Fear not, for I plan to return to a proper oyster house and do it right! That said the Island Creek Oysters were delicious. Served from a long boat of ice, they were fat and salty, with a sweet taste. I did have a shudder-moment from the texture, but not enough to put me off of doing it again!
Cocktails included the classic mai-tai,, which is widely considered the classic tiki drink. A blend of rums, orgeat, and citrus, this is my preferred tiki cocktail for its relative simplicity. Also served up were Painkillers, Fogcutters, and my NEW favorite tiki cocktail, the LUPEC original Ken-Tiki. This beauty captured my heart mostly through the virtue of being the only drink there with a base of bourbon rather than rum, but it was also a wonderful balance of tart and sweet fruit flavor.
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